About Me

Warning you about crappy movies since 2008.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wild Grass

I have no idea what to think about this colorful, bizarre, dreamy, French mystery/love story/drama. Wild Grass starts out as a standard-enough crime drama (woman has fire engine red wallet stolen (from lemon yellow purse), man finds it and takes it the police). But soon enough, the man who did the good deed is stalking the woman with the missing wallet. So far, so good. And, the saturated color palette -- brilliant reds, yellows and blues -- is something to behold!

In most movies, the woman would get scared at the onset of the stalking and take out a restraining order.

But, this woman -- a wild-haired dentist/pilot -- begins stalking her stalker right back. Not for retribution -- but because she is intrigued by him. Maybe, she even loves him.

Along the way, we meet the fellow's much younger wife, the woman's best friend and fellow dentist and a host of other minor characters. We come to discover that the finder-of-the-wallet has a violent, criminal past and an interest in aviation.

The characters go about their quotidian lives -- working in the yard, filling cavities -- and continue to haunt each other. Is it all a dream? A fairy tale? An allegory? Who knows? But, it is well-acted, beautiful to look at and hard to forget. If only because I want someone to explain its meaning to me, I suggest you see it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Am Love

First of all, the title. What the ...? I thought the movie would make it clear who exactly love was, but that, like a lot of things, is left up in the air.

I Am Love, and its magnificent star, Tilda Swinton, are gorgeous to behold. The modern-day Italian aristocracy sure does show well. Swinton's Emma is always elegantly turned out, beautifully coiffed and a superb hostess, to boot. As the wife of a fabulously wealthy industrialist, she's had to host her share of dinner parties at their villa. And, she enjoys it. Despite having an entire staff at the ready, Emma enjoys preparing meals, especially one of her son's favorites -- an old recipe she recalls from her native Russia.

Apparently, Swinton learned to speak not only Italian, but Russian-accented Italian, for this film. If only the screenplay were worthy of such a feat.

Swinton is marvelous to look at, but after dozens of close-ups where the camera lingers (and lingers ...) on her, you start to wish there were a story here.

Oh, some stuff happens. The company that created all this wealth is going to be sold. Tilda's daughter decides she's a lesbo. And, Tilda's son meets a young chef who will become Tilda's lover. (Hey, maybe he is love?)

He's horribly miscast. Rugged is one thing. But, this guy just looks unclean. He and Tilda cook together, she eats his food, she gives him that Russian fish recipe, blah, blah. It takes two hours for this stuff to unfold, and none of it -- none of it -- seems to matter.

This is the second movie I've seen this month where a character solves a "mystery" (that he/she didn't even realize existed) by finding red hair where it wasn't supposed to be. (The other was The Kids are All Right, which also stunk.) Hair!? HAIR?! Carolyn Keene left better clues than that in the Nancy Drew series.

So, then the drama becomes melodrama, and really, the whole thing just goes to hell. But, it never ceases to be beautiful to look at. Skip it.

The Other Guys

Everyone is going to be quoting lines from this Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg laughfest for some time to come. Some of the yuks may even wind up becoming part of the pop culture lexicon. (I can't wait to refer to someone as a "paper bitch" and will be trying desperately to find a way to insert "forensic accountant" into my lingo.) Unless you want to be left out, you should see it!

P.S. Welcome back to the big screen, Michael Keaton! His police captain who works a second job as a Bed, Bath and Beyond manager is pure joy to watch.